KY Republican senator gets COVID despite vaccine, urges more to get their dose


LEXINGTON,Ky. (WTVQ) – A Republican state senator’s family is the latest example why health leaders are encouraging everyone to wear a mask right now, even if you’re vaccinated.

Senator Alice Forgy Kerr announced Monday she and her family all have COVID-19 even after getting fully vaccinated months ago.

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“This really has been a shocker,” Kerr, of Lexington, said.

Kerr said she, her husband and two sons have been fully vaccinated since March, so when they all tested positive for the coronavirus one-by-one, she couldn’t believe it.

“I laughed. I said it was kinda like we were falling like dominoes,” Kerr said.

Kerr’s youngest son, Jamison, said he was a little disheartened.

“My first thought is, ‘I’m vaccinated, surely it’s not COVID – come to find out that it was,” Jamison said.

He was right to be surprised. Health experts say so called breakthrough cases – when someone vaccinated still gets COVID-19 – are expected, but they’re rare.

The health department in Lexington reports only 2% of all cases right now in the city are break-through, but Kerr still wants everyone to get vaccinated. She said the Delta variant is a “different ballgame.”

“We are in the same boat together, and we can’t one of us chop away at the bottom of the boat and expect the rest of us to survive,” Kerr said. “The only way that we’re going to survive this as a people is to get the vaccination.”

Jamison agrees with his mother that without the vaccine the family’s symptoms would have been worse.

This is supported by CDC data that shows less than .004-percent of fully vaccinated people had a breakthrough case that led to hospitalization as of last week.

“Because I had the vaccine, I believe that my body knew how to fight it faster,” Jamison said.

However, Kerr said that doesn’t impact her decision to vote ‘yes’ on bills aimed at limited the governor’s emergency powers. She doesn’t regret it. She said no governor, no matter the party, should have so much power.

Kerr said she can only hope Kentuckians put politics aside and get through the pandemic.

“This is something new and it’s something we all have to take quite seriously.”

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Bobbi McSwine joined the ABC 36 News Team in March 2020. She started as a Web Content Producer in November 2019. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL, known to many as the “Windy City.” She studied journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. While in school, she had a number of internships ranging from Free Spirit Media, ABC 7 Chicago and Illinois Public Media. She fell in love with writing in high school and paired that with a newfound passion for storytelling in college. She misses her hometown, but she loves the horses and rich history in Lexington. When she’s not working, she’s probably listening to music or binge-watching Netflix. She’s always looking to get to know more people in Central Kentucky, so feel free to shoot her a message on Facebook @BobbiWTVQ, follow her on Twitter @McSwineB_News, or send her an email at